USA goes Wild for Bridport stoves

Bridport and Lyme Regis News: COOKING UP BUSINESS: Company director Jonathan Rouse COOKING UP BUSINESS: Company director Jonathan Rouse

BRIDPORT-based Wild Stoves is a world leader in wood-fuelled portable camping stoves that cleanly and efficiently burn wood.

They are used by lovers of the outdoors around the world who want convenient, ‘eco’ camp cooking.

Business in the UK has flourished in recent years, and an online store has just been launched in the USA.

Wild Stoves, based in an office in West Street, brings together a huge range of stoves and gear, all based around efficient combustion of wood.

It boasts having ‘something for everyone’, from pizza ovens to lightweight backpacking stoves, rocket stoves to wood-burners for tents and caravans. All are powered by wood – in many cases a meal can be cooked with just a handful of sticks.

In recent years business from Europe and beyond has gained momentum, and Wild Stoves now has trade partners for its flagship product the ‘Wild Woodgas Stove’ in a dozen countries across five continents.

Katy Martin, who manages the Bridport office says: “We’ve seen a particular increase in interest from the USA, so launching there was the obvious next step. We’re taking some of our own products into the US, as well as forming new partnerships with manufacturers there.

“It’s exciting.’ Wild Stoves also attend local shows, running workshops and demonstrating products – you may have seen them winning Small Trader of the Year at the Melplash Show.

The company has strong links with local businesses and campsites, as well as locals and holidaymakers who explore West Dorset with a Wild Stove in their backpack. Wild Stoves also contributes to the Wild Stoves Foundation which supports projects in Africa helping those most in need access clean stoves. Wild Stoves was set up by local scientist and entrepreneur Jonathan Rouse, building on a passion for the outdoors and a deep appreciation of wood as a fuel. He has spent the last decade working as an advisor on wood energy and stoves in Africa and Asia.

“In 2009 I was testing some stoves with women in Nigeria and had a light-bulb moment.

“I realised how great these stoves would be for camping in the UK,” said Jonathan.

On his return, over a few drinks with wife and friends, they came up with the name and concept of Wild Stoves.

“It’s been hard work but rewarding and we now have a vibrant business and a strong team. It’s great to see a local company, started in a West Country garage a few years ago, blossom into this vibrant international brand. We really feel we’re doing something useful and valued, locally and globally.”

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